Google buys IBM patents to beef up portfolio

Kimihiro Hoshino
Google has bought more than 1,000 technology patents from IBM as the Internet giant seeks to build up its portfolio and head off potential intellectual property suits
Google has bought more than 1,000 technology patents from IBM as the Internet giant seeks to build up its portfolio and head off potential intellectual property suits

Google has bought more than 1,000 technology patents from IBM as the Internet giant seeks to build up its portfolio and head off potential intellectual property suits. "Like many tech companies, at times we'll acquire patents that are relevant to our business needs," a Google spokesman said in a statement Friday. "Bad software patent litigation is a wasteful war that no one will win." The Google spokesman declined to comment on the financial details of the transaction. IBM declined comment. According to the blog SEO by the Sea, Google recorded with US authorities in mid-July that it had been assigned 1,030 patents from IBM on a range of topics, "from the fabrication and architecture of memory and microprocessing chips, to other areas of computer architecture, including servers and routers." Google recently lost out on an auction for some 6,000 patents held by bankrupt Canadian firm Nortel. The winning $4.5 billion bid came from a consortium consisting of Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, Research in Motion and Sony. The huge sum spent on the patents and the involvement of many of the world's top tech companies reflected the fierce battle for intellectual property in the tech industry, where firms are often hit with patent-infringement lawsuits. Google is currently being sued by software giant Oracle over technology used in its Android smartphone operating system. The threat of more such lawsuits spurred Google to make its $900 billion bid to buy the patent portfolio of Nortel, a once-pioneering developer of wireless and fiber-optic technology.